BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – In an effort to reshape the future of transportation in Texas, Texas Central Partners and Amtrak have announced they are seeking a potential partnership to advance planning and analysis for the proposed Dallas-Houston 205-mph high-speed rail project.
The approximately 240-mile route promises a travel time of under 90 minutes between two of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, with a potential stop along the route in Grimes County.
“If we are going to add more high-speed rail to this country, the Dallas to Houston Corridor is a compelling proposition and offers great potential,” said Amtrak Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs Andy Byford. “We believe many of the country’s biggest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas, like Houston and Dallas, deserve more high quality high-speed, intercity rail service and we are proud to bring our experience to evaluate this potential project and explore opportunities with Texas Central so the state can meet its full transportation needs.”
Texas Central and Amtrak have submitted applications to several federal programs in connection with further study and design work for the project, including the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements grant program, the Corridor Identification and Development program, and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grant program.
Amtrak has worked with Texas Central since 2016 when it entered into agreements to provide through-ticketing using the Amtrak reservation system and other support services for the planned high-speed rail line, according to a news release shared Wednesday by Amtrak.
“This high-speed train, using advanced, proven Shinkansen technology, has the opportunity to revolutionize rail travel in the southern U.S., and we believe Amtrak could be the perfect partner to help us achieve that,” said Texas Central Chief Executive Officer Michael Bui. “We appreciate Amtrak’s continued collaboration and look forward to continuing to explore how we can partner in the development of this important project.”
The mayors of both Houston and Dallas shared statements applauding the continued vision to build the high-speed rail but opponents who mostly reside along the proposed route have expressed their share of concerns for years.
The organization Texans Against High-Speed Rail shared the following message on its Facebook page Wednesday: “So much for privately funded. Call your state and local representatives, members of Congress, your neighbors, and whoever will answer your call to let them know the HSR is being brought back from the dead by Amtrak of all entities. This isn’t finished.”
John Sitilides, federal affairs advisor to the Texas business and civic coalition Reroute the Route released a statement Wednesday afternoon in opposition to the partnership.
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